HRV girls fall on the road to Hermiston

Junior Forward Barrett Ihde is averaging 2.5 points and 1.3 offensive rebounds per game.

Photo by RJ Chavez
Junior Forward Barrett Ihde is averaging 2.5 points and 1.3 offensive rebounds per game.

The HRV girls basketball team headed into league play with an 8-6 record, but after dropping their first two games of league, they’re now 8-8 and .500 on the season for the first time since they were 2-2 in early December.

The latest loss for the girls came on the road last Friday night, Jan. 26, against Hermiston by a final score of 56-34.

Despite the 22-point road loss, HRV girls Head Coach Donnie Herneisen saw a positive from his team that he had yet to see.

“It was first time we forced Hermiston out of their man defense,” said Herneisen. “We played a really great first half, easily the best half of basketball we’ve played against Hermiston since I’ve been coaching. Hermiston played us straight up man defense in the first half, which we expected, and we really took it to them.”

The girls had a slight edge over Hermiston after one quarter, as HRV led 15-13.

But it was early in the second quarter that HRV made Hermiston adjust their game plan.

The girls went on a 6-0 run and took a 21-16 lead halfway through the second quarter.

HRV would battle for the lead in the closing minutes of the second quarter and would fall just short of having the advantage at half, but the Eagles were only down 24-23.

After the first half is when things took a turn for the worse for the girls.

“They went into a zone defense and really took us out of our game plan,” said Herneisen. “In all the scouting we’d done, and in years past, Hermiston hasn’t played a zone defense against us, and we just weren’t ready for it. That’s, however, really a credit to our players though. We had a number of good shooting opportunities out of our zone offense, we just couldn’t connect.”

In the second half, Hermiston found momentum in their zone defense and went on to outscore the Eagles 33-10.

Now at 0-2 in Columbia River Conference play, the girls had a big game at The Dalles on Tuesday night, Jan. 30 (results unavailable at press time).

“Going into The Dalles, we’ll see a very different team and program than we have against Pendleton and Hermiston,” said Herneisen. “That being said, it’s still a rivalry game and in hostile territory. This game is going to simply be about who can win the turnover and rebounding battles, as well as be the most fundamentally sound team.

“The Dalles is going to try and push the pace of the game, so we’ve got to be prepared to handle that. Additionally, whenever we play games at the same location with the boys’ team, the atmosphere is much more electric. Should be a fun night of basketball.”

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